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Taiwan Church News

3362 Edition

August 1 - 7, 2016

Headline News

 

Sbalay! President Tsai Ing-wen Apologizes To The Aboriginal

 

Reported by Chiu Kuo-rong

 

In order to implement the transitional justice for aborigines, President Tsai Ing-wen officially apologizes to the aboriginal peoples in Taiwan on August 1st named as Day of the Aboriginal henceforth. This is the first time in Asian history that a president of the country apologizes to her aboriginal peoples.

Explaining the word of "Sbalay", a Tayal vocabulary meaning for "reconciliation", is originated from "Balay" which refers to "truth", President Tsai apologizes to the aboriginal with a vision of reconciliation yet built upon truth. President Tsai mentions 8 reasons why she has to make this apology and proposes concrete ways to correct the past errors.

The official assembly, held in the auditorium of the Presidential Building, starts with the traditional blessings of aborigines, then prayers follow from different religious clergy in their own mother tongues. In his prayer, Rev. Chang Enoch, a PCT pastor from Western Amis Presbytery, asking God to fulfill Taiwan with peace, love and forgiveness as this is a moment of restoring truth and justice!

President Tsai promises to solve the problem of the nuclear waste stored in the Orchid island, i.e. before the arrival of a final solution of those nuclear waste, she will still deliver a way of reasonable compensation for aborigines on the island; regarding the legal rights and status of the plains aborigines, Tsai also agrees to review all the related laws to solve their requests; in order to facilitate the autonomy of the aboriginal government, territories of the aboriginal traditional inhabitant area will be declared publicly from November 1st and the legal legislation on the aboriginal land, sea and languages will speed up. On annual August 1st, Tsai expects the progress of transitional justice of aborigines will be reported by the Executive Yuan and all the Taiwanese peoples could reach a true reconciliation and build Taiwan together as a country full of justice, diversity and equality!

Siyapen Nganaen, an 81-year-old Tao elder representing all Taiwanese aborigines to accept President Tsai's apology, responds in the ceremony that as most aborigines believe in Christ he wish President Tsai will treat aborgines with the love of God. Siyapen Nganaen also believes, since the aborignal peoples come to accept President's apology, this is the start of reconciliation and peace!

Against the implementation of the Aboriginal Committee of Historical Justice and Transitional Justice under the Office of the President, Rev. Omi Wilang, secretary of PCT's Indigenous Mission Committee, delivers his deep worry: how could this committee move forward if those appointed members are not granted any legal investigation power legislated by the congress?!

Translated by Peter Wolfe

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photos by Chiu Kuo-rong

 
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Taiwan Church News

3361 Edition

July 25 - 31, 2016

Editorial

 

Spiritual Destitute Begets Greed; Greed Begets Affliction

 

Taiwan society was in a big shock, after US$ 2.6 millions (NT$ 83 million) were robbed via an unprecedented direct hacking from 41 automated teller machines(ATM) of First Commercial Bank in Taipei and Taichung on July 9 and July 10. Though most suspects of an international criminal group had left Taiwan before this heist was exposed, there were still three suspects got caught after several days of intensive investigation by the police. This case, therefore, was announced cracked down and huge amount of stolen money were consequently traced back from the mountainous area at Nei-hu district of Taipei City.

When most of the stolen money were under way to be chased back, a strange case related to this bank robbery happened unexpectedly before the suspect was brought back to the site where those stolen cash were hid: some of those stolen cash were fetched home for 16 hours by one Taipei citizen, though these money were handed out to the police finally. As this extra event was weirdly unreasonable on several points, the person who brought the stolen cash home due to his own greed was charged furiously by the public as committing the crimes of "encroachment" or "transfer or deposit the stolen goods".

If the suspected person, who picked up the stolen money, could report to the police and hand out the cash immediately, such strange case might have never occurred to anyone's mind. In addition, both the police officer who identified the robbery criminal and the unexpected guy who bumped into the stolen cash would be greatly saluted with great honor.

Fundamentally speaking, either the criminal case of ATM robbery or the extra case of fetching the stolen cash home, they were realistic events demonstrating the human weakness and sin. Both those foreign ATM robbers and the suspected person taking booties home could not escape the old saying: "Spiritual destitute begets greed; greed begets affliction".

In the Bible, there are also many stories proving this old saying, "Spiritual destitute begets greed; greed begets affliction". Those biblical characters do not only covet for wealth, but also hunger for fame, power, women and etc. From the Genesis of the Old Testament to the early church in the New Testament, it is not difficult to find Jacob(avaricious after fame and wealth), Achan (acquisitive for trophy), Samson and David(lustful for women), Absalom(covetous for power), Ananias and Sapphira(cheat the church) and etc.

"You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor"(Exodus 20:17), these words are the last commandment of the Decalogue. The reason, why God stipulates the law of "do not covet" as the last commandment, is that he knows well the sin of covetousness would definitely begets all those evils forbidden by the previous nine commandment like replacement of God with greed, idol worshiping, fake witness, burglary and etc.

In addition, we could not afford to be negligent about what the scripture had clearly warned us: "Keep your lives free from the love of money, and be content with what you have; for he said 'I will never leave you or forsake you.'"(Hebrews 13:5)!

 
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Taiwan Church News

3361 Edition

July 25 - 31, 2016

Headline News

 

PCT Holds Seminars On Aboriginal Transitional Justice

 

Reported by Lin Jia-jing

 

Because President Tsai Ing-wen will officially apologize to the aboriginal peoples on August 1, many hot debates are under way on current five draft versions for promoting transitional justice submitted by some aboriginal members of parliament.

Against this background, a series of consensus-seeking seminars, organized by PCT's Indigenous Ministry Committee and Church and Society Committee, discussing aboriginal transitional justice from the aboriginal church's viewpoints are specially held island-wide in July.

Church elders, deacons and congregational members will be invited to attend seminars which are planned on July 19 at Tai-wu church of Paiwan presbytery, July 21 at Kao-liau church of Amis presbytery and July 25 at Tsu-kwang church of Tayal presbytery.

Many aboriginal leaders and PCT officials, including Rev. Sudu Tada(Moderator of PCT's General Assembly), Mr. Yohani Isqaqavut(the first aboriginal ambassador), Rev. Pusin Tali(President of YSCS), Rev. Omi Wilang(secretary of PCT Indigenous Ministry Commitee) and Mr Wudu Mijan(University professor), are invited to deliver their thoughts on aboriginal transitional justice.

Rev. Sudu Tada urges PCT to play her prophetic role again in this third democratic regime change and build up a society of justice, peace and love imitating the kingdom of God.

From the struggling history of international aboriginal peoples, Ambassador Yohani reminds the aboriginal society that President Tsai's apology should not be paid too much optimism. The point is aborigine's decision to act after her verbal apology: "Are we ready to act?", says Yohani.

Rev. Pushin Tali denounced all foreign regimes as rogue waves, intending to steal, kill and destroy the culture of aborigines only. Recounting PCT's past involvement in Taiwan's aboriginal social movement, like the restoration of aboriginal name and the legislation of The Indigenous Peoples Basic Act, Rev. Pushin Tali deeply believed that "God is the Lord of transitional justice!" and encouraged the audience to keep fighting for the autonomy of the aboriginal peoples.

Wudu Mijan insists the oppression of aboriginal peoples in the past 400 years on Taiwan island should be an important chapter during the legislature of the laws of transitional justice, because the barbarous fact that many aboriginal lands and resources confiscated by the Japanese colonial government and arbitrarily inherited by KMT is absolutely illegitimate and unacceptable to Taiwan aborigines!

Translated by Peter Wolfe

 

Focusing on aboriginal transitional justice, organized by PCT's Indigenous Ministry Committee and Church and Society Committee, a series of seminars are held in July. These seminars are held on July 19 at Tai-wu church of Paiwan presbytery, July 21 at Kao-liau church of Amis presbytery and July 25 at Tsu-kwang church of Tayal presbytery.

Photo by Lin Jia-jing

 
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Taiwan Church News

3360 Edition

July 18 - 24, 2016

Editorial

 

From A Vivid Sketch On Paper To An Incarnated Cultural Life In Action

 

A slogan, like "Root deep of our culture and beef up our national soft power!", is always chanted by every minister of culture in the past. But our country folks' idea of culture, a multi-dimensional process, be it from taste to engagement, from observation to participation, or from reading to action, is actually a transformation: "from a vivid sketch on paper to an incarnated cultural life in action"! It means what were once put into print, be it local customs, folks habits, territorial history and oral literature, has been adapted as a part of our real life somehow. In other words, whatsoever, a piece of living literary artwork will go beyond its traditional bounds and breathe with the common people.

Between the human and culture, the museum is always the most important media: collecting historical formats from traditional paper to e-book or versatile contents stored in sound, letters or images; standing out fearlessly as a public institute for the people, proclaiming the well-being of human being, and marching toward a progressive human culture; being proud of raising up the level and contents of scientific knowledge, democratic consciousness, aesthetic taste, historical memories, spiritual inheritance, the meaning of life and etc.

Following the rapid social changes, unprecedented economic efficiency and imbalanced wealth accumulation, resulted from international power struggle, globalization and technological development, the museum after the 20th century has to face the incurred various social problems like ecological destruction, energy waste, war conflicts, asymmetry between human rights and ecological resources.

Taiwan, as a country with a multi-layered colonial histories, the original function of a museum was designed to show off the modernized glory of the imperial power. But now the issue of how to build up a true museum for the Taiwanese people, overcoming kinds of contemporary social challenges and tearing down the hegemony of state machine, is the most important job for us to proceed. Through the museum's various functions, like research and development, collection, exhibition, educational promotion and public service, our Taiwanese culture can be easily accessed by common people just like a natural breathe in the woods.

The Taiwanese culture could be infused with the core confessions of our faith, which has demonstrated herself in millennium history as an abundantly yielded tree consisted of language, culture, literature and cultural innovation: language as her root, culture the trunk, literature the leaves and cultural innovation the fruit. Only through a nutritious supply via faith, our Taiwanese culture could be rooted deep in language, expanded strong in culture, glittered dense in literature and harvested abundantly in cultural innovation!

With a purpose to restore a historically outlook of Chû-tin-tông on 21st October, Taiwan Church Press(TCP) will rejuvenate her operation modeled on a museum. Not only TCP's management will be greatly facilitated henceforth, the ideal of justice and human rights will also be propagated through an extraordinary sale of fair trade coffee. Such a new mission of TCP, infusing Christian theology, religious faiths, humanistic knowledge and cultural event, is to build up a cross-cultural platform in Taiwan and enrich our dynamic and diverse cultural lives within the Christian faith and the kingdom of God!

 
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Taiwan Church News

3360 Edition

July 18 - 24, 2016

Headline News

 

PCT Protests Absence Of Investigative Powers Under President Tsai's Aboriginal Transitional Justice

 

Reported by Chiu Kuo-rong

 

On July 12, recruiting the elected indigenous law-makers and local party officials, the department of Indigenous Affairs of Democratic Progressive Party(DPP) launches a press conference announcing President Tsai Ing-wen, who is also DPP's chairwomen, will officially apologize on August 1 for past government's injustice and wrong-doings to the aboriginal peoples on Taiwan.

In the meantime, in order to find out the injustice imposed on aborigines and restore their judiciary rights on land, autonomy, education, culture and etc, President Tsai will establish an aboriginal transitional justice committee under the Presidential Office to investigate the historical truth of the past injustice and speed up the related legislature of The Indigenous Peoples Basic Law, says DPP.

Against this DPP stance in press conference, Rev. Omi Wilang, secretary of PCT's Committee of Indigenous Ministry, openly questions how aboriginal transitional justice could be materialized when the investigative powers are acknowledged to be legally absent from the committee under the Presidential Office!

Many legal experts and scholars, even distinguished DPP law-makers like Wellington Kuo and Yu Mei-nu, express their doubt of any substantial rights of investigation existing under President Tsai's aboriginal transitional justice committee and suggest a chapter of aboriginal transitional justice should be set up in the draft of the impending Transitional Justice Bill.

In his facebook website, Wudu Mijan, chairman of Association for Taiwan Indigenous People's Policy(ATIPP), denounces the mind set of DPP's aboriginal justice turning deaf toward the request of those social movements of aborigines. "Without (aboriginal) transitional justice, The Indigenous Peoples Basic Law will be marginalized and empty!",  says Wudu Mijan.

Translated by Peter Wolfe

 

Rev. Omi Wilang, together with some citizens, protested before the government's building.

An Archive Photo by ATIPP

 

 
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Taiwan Church News

3359 Edition

July 11 - 17, 2016

Editorial

 

Melancholy And Maneuver On The Ministry Of The Word

 

This is our melancholy.

From the excitement of receiving the first e-mail to the boredom of spams clogging our mailbox, it takes only a short period of 20 years' time. And two decades of time, one decade to raise and another decade to educate, should be enough to turn a child into a just and good person. But such an effective and convenient internet technology is always abused to download those vulgar gossips. Once an impressed TV slogan says, "Technology always comes from the human nature anyhow!", but who can tell whether this inspired quote is a sale trick or just a pseudo-statement? God knows!

" [As] heir to a corrupt history, in which are mingled fallen revolutions, technology gone mad, dead gods, and worn-out ideologies, where mediocre powers can destroy all yet no longer know how to convince, where intelligence has debased itself to become the servant of hatred and oppression, this generation starting from its own negations has had to re-establish, both within and without, a little of that which constitutes the dignity of life and death.", these words were prophetically delivered by Albert Camus at his Nobel prize banquet speech on 10 December 1957 and accurately quoted by The Big Issue magazine at the forward of its opening issue to describe the melancholy of the "nonprofit" ministry of the word.

Correctly speaking, the wording of "nonprofit" before the ministry of the word is redundant. Our melancholy is a worry about the consequences of a low intelligence age: a collective mindset refusing to think deep, learn more and respond dutiful! Perhaps Camus words of "corrupt history" and "fallen revolutions" are no more suitable to our contemporary society, but his critiques toward technology, dead gods and worn-out ideologies are real foods worthy for our second thoughts!

A collective mindset, refusing to think deep, learn more and respond dutiful, is a fair warning raised by the Japanese management guru Ohmae Kenichi to contemporary Japanese society. Kenichi's remarks reveals a true insider's observation of the modern Japan, once a great country voracious at learning knowledge and building up her own culture, as nothing but a group of low-intelligence animals: easily affected in a collective action by the media, evidenced in the peer conformity phenomenon like shopping, blogging or tweeting online in a fish streaming. Ohmae Kenichi criticizes the public discourse in Japan become shallow, loquacious yet without resolve, running away from a problem instead of facing it.

A sharp critique, though, but the Japanese people are blessed to have Ohmae Kenichi's urgent calling to think deep and study more. Just like the sincere advise from Fukuzawa Yukichi, a renown educator in Meiji period, suggesting the Japan society to study hard and educate themselves with real knowledge if they decided to be free from the ruler's control.

Taiwan is no better than that low-intelligence society like Japan. Our diligent media and journalism, controlled by ratings or click through rate(CTR), always covet an hot-issued but superficial story than an in-depth truth. This situation is just like a unfortunate patient, lying beside hemodialysis machine and giving thumb up to the concerned families, while his blood does get contaminated as a matter of fact! For the internet's true believers, who have a positive faith about the benefits of internet as being real, convenient, timeless and free from space, it is totally beyond their imagination that the pilgrimage of true knowledge could not be accommodated and a just and independent media have no place to stand firm in this new technique! Germans always say: "A family without books is like a house without windows". But, our youth generation retorts that there are many more windows could be opened in the world of the internet!

So, how life finds a way out? Here is a possible maneuver.

While the ministry of the word, a mission of Taiwan Church News, becomes wary about her financial support and her brain-drained editorial jobs in an internet age, please understand and care the urgent problem: how much energy and resources could we focus and invest in the media content?

 
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